When I was a child the BBC would pad out the children’s TV offerings during school holidays with repeats of ages old black and white serials from the 40s and 50s. This was my introduction to The Lone Ranger, Champion the Wonder Horse and, in a more sci-fi vein, Flash Gordon.

But perhaps my favourite was King of the Rocket Men. Here was an ordinary man who, with just a little technology, was turned into a superhero. Each day I tuned in to see how he would miraculously escape from the certain death of the previous day’s cliffhanger. But even at that early age I knew enough to realise that rockets are generally quite hot, and not really the sort of thing you want blasting around your thighs and buttocks.

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↓ Transcript
[Two Greys are talking. The first is wearing a rocket pack]

G1: This is it! I'm finally ready for the maiden flight of my new rocket pack.

G2: Don't you think the exhaust is a little close to your trousers?

G1: Hmmm… maybe you're right

[Caption: Some time later…]

G1: I've made some special flight trousers…
They're titanium plated, with a lead lining and a triple-thickness brass codpiece, just in case

[Scene shows G1 has been ripped in half, his metal trousers remaining on the ground as the rocket lifts his torso up]

G2: I guess they're also quite heavy